LANGI Kal Kal prison is holding a recruitment drive with a focus on female applicants for prison officers.
The initiative comes as Victoria’s Ombudsman wants to make sure prisoners are accessing support programs to help reduce the risk of re-offending.
Ombudsman Deborah Glass says she will investigate the provision of rehabilitation and transitional services, particularly for female and indigenous offenders.
“It’s no secret that Victoria’s increasing prison population has put stress on prisoner access to education and rehabilitation programs throughout their sentences,” Ms Glass said.
“This inquiry will look closely at what this means for offenders, correctional staff and the community.”
Ms Glass noted more than 50 per cent of the state’s prisoners were repeat offenders.
“Adequate services must be available to prisoners on and before their release to support their re-integration into the community and to help reduce re-offending,” she said.
Department of Justice Grampians regional director Catherine Darbyshire said the recruitment drive focused on female applicants to add balance to the workforce.
“There are still have more than 110 positions to be recruited to meet our anticipated recruitment numbers to operate our expanded prisons,” Ms Darbyshire said.
“We are currently encouraging people to consider us as a career, possibly a career change. It’s a positive culture and a meaningful job.”
She said women made up 30 per cent of the employee base at the Langi Kal Kal and Hopkins prison sites.
Prison officer Amy Johnson said she felt safer at work than she did in the community.
“Prisoners are really respectful of women and there are just so many opportunities for progression,” Ms Johnson said.
“I had some concerns coming into the job because I thought you had to be a certain build or gender to get into the role.
“One of the most important skills of the job is communication and you can quickly de-escalate a situation with good communication.”
- with AAP